After obtaining his BS from Amherst College in Math and Computer Science, and his MS in Computer Science from Syracuse University, Grant began his career with roles in software engineering, lifecycle development, and systems engineering at Syracuse-based companies including The Ultra Corporation, TextWise Labs, and ProSoft (now PROMERGENT).
As Grant gained technical leadership skills and project management expertise, he decided to take the next step on his career path, and accepted the position of Senior Software Engineer at the Center for Natural Language Processing in 2003. His responsibilities included serving as lead developer on several search engine applications, and as lead engineer on a variety of projects, including a cross-language information retrieval (CLIR) system and an English language question answering system.
As he continued to build his visibility in the tech industry, Grant demonstrated his passion for open-source software development by joining the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) as an Apache Lucene and Solr Committer, an active role that he holds to this day. He is co-creator of the Apache Mahout machine learning library.
The Formation of Lucidworks
In 2007, Grant and several other members of the open-source community merged their talents, entrepreneurial skills, and technical expertise to form Lucid Imagination (now known as Lucidworks). From the beginning, Grant was involved in building search applications on Lucene and Solr, designing new features, and writing the original versions of the company training on Lucene and Solr. As Lucid Imagination became Lucidworks, Grant moved into the integral executive roles of CTO, SVP of Engineering, and a seat on the Board of Directors.
Grant was directly responsible for leading a team of 50+ engineers, which was instrumental in developing next-generation products and search engine capabilities, and he also worked closely with the executive team to define and implement sales and marketing strategies.
Moving Forward with the Wikimedia Foundation
In 2019, Grant officially accepted the position of CTO at Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), and immediately became responsible for all tech, engineering, and data-centric decisions related to the Foundation’s hosting of Wikipedia and its sibling projects, such as Wikidata. As leader of an 18-team engineering organization with over 150 employees, Grant implemented key decisions that led to a significant overhaul of the engineering culture and productivity landscape, which also included relationship-building with departments, vendors, and external partners.
During his time at WMF, Grant led a number of key intitiatives: replacing a homegrown machine learning platform; adopting new DDoS systems that led to major reductions in attacks; improving the SRE on-call processes; and expandeding data center capacity to more effectively serve content worldwide.
Back to Building
Since 2022, Grant and the Develomentor team have created results-driven success stories for global clients including Charity Navigator, Knoetic, Next Street, Munich RE, Berenson Capital, Serent Capital, and many more.
Grant is also a dynamic and engaging keynote speaker, and award-winning lead author of “Taming Text” (published by Manning Publications.)
In partnership with co-instructor Daniel Tunkelang, Grant developed an Uplimit course entitled “Search With Machine Learning” (SWML), which is currently taught three times per year. Since the inaugural run of SWML, Grant has created two additional courses at Uplimit: “Search Fundamentals” (also co-taught with Daniel) and “Search Engineering”, co-taught with Dave Anderson.